Public WiFi / Captive Portal help

Hello all,

I work from home some and currently have a lot of family at the house, so I decided to go to Starbucks to try and be less distracted. I had absolutely no luck in getting my personal laptop, running Fedora 31 Silverblue, to connect to the WiFi because it couldn’t bring up the captive portal login. I did some basic troubleshooting by searching the internet on my phone, which was able to bring up the CP login, and so I tried going to a basic HTTP site while connecting but still no luck.

Had to resort to my Windows laptop given by my company, which isn’t terrible but has a smaller screen and is a touch slower so I don’t prefer it, and it was able to login just fine.

Does anyone know what I need to do to get my Fedora machine to recognize captive portal WiFi and consistently route me to the login screen? Thanks!

Firefox is usually pretty good about discovering captive portal login redirects. Did you try the URL that your work laptop went to for the CP?

No, I did think about it but it was too fast and I wasn’t about to log out then back in at that point, I was just ready to get my work done.

Do I need to have Firefox open to get to the captive portal login? I don’t do public Wifi very often but I’m pretty sure I’ve had problems with this in the past as well.

Captive portals sometimes have issues when you try to connect to secure websites (which is most of them these days — and that’s a great thing, unless you’re having a problem escaping captive portals).

A work-around is to visit a website that doesn’t use HTTPS. Thankfully, there’s at least one website that’s easy to remember that’s guaranteed to load over plain, non-secure HTTP:

It’s what I use when captive portals aren’t implemented properly.

FWIW: My laptop running Silverblue worked with a captive portal with GNOME + Firefox a week and a half ago. I think I saw it first with GNOME detecting it and showing a WebKit window before I got to Firefox, but I’m not 100% sure about that. Both GNOME (with NetworkManager) and Firefox are supposed to be able to detect captive portals and let you sign in. (But some captive portals are just implemented in a wonky way that will throw off most OSes.)